Birthday present for 22 yo about to leave for a year in Asia?

<p>Please help!! I don't want to get her anything that she will have to pretend to like. But I don't want to give her money either. I am at my wits' end and only have a few days left. Any suggestions??? Thanks in advance. :(</p>

<p>I understand your feelings about "just" giving money, but actually cash would probably be by far the most useful and most appreciated gift you could give.</p>

<p>Phone cards to call back to the U.S.
If she journals, a beautify journal and pen.
A very nice, compact toiletry kit.
Travel bags (cinch top)...</p>

<p>We got a friend's daughter a very nice calendar/journal...and a travel guide to attractions where she will be.</p>

<p>Does she have an inexpensive, small digital camera? And I stress “inexpensive” because my son (who spent a year in Asia at age 22) had his camera stolen early on during a moment of inattentiveness. Another possibility is a flash drive for her computer, very handy for backing up while traveling. </p>

<p>However, if she’s leaving in a few days, odds are she already has everything she needs for the trip and not an inch of space left in her luggage. I agree with CAorBust: cash would be the best gift. My son would rather have had more money for travel than something else to pack.</p>

<p>I'd give mainly money, and then add one small sentimental gift. A nicely framed photo, or a photo album of her favorite people/places from home. Favorite recipes. A pretty scarf. As you know, franglish, I have a daughter the same age, and I gave up long ago trying to figure out what to buy as gifts. I give money, or needed electronics (like a new computer).</p>

<p>I also recommend an inexpensive digital camera. My son left for a year in Asia just as he turned 23 and that's what turned out to be a good gift for him. I still think a Kindle would have been the best gift, given that he reads so much and has spent so much on English language books since he's left. But he would not have one. By the way, that one year has turned into two years - just warning you.</p>

<p>eReader, definitely. </p>

<p>I spent a summer in Japan with an hour train commute which was a great time to spend reading. However, it was difficult to find stores that had a decent selection of English books, and I ended up leaving most of the ones I bought in Japan because I couldn't fit them in my suitcase to go home. An eReader would have solved both of these problems for me.</p>

<p>Also, I'm a huge fan of print books and generally dislike eBooks, but travel is the one situation where I prefer eBooks.</p>

<p>All these suggestions are great! Keep 'em coming! Thanks!</p>

<p>Where in Asia? For a place with frequent power outages, a small LED headlamp might be nice. For Tokyo, that would be silly, but anywhere in India, for instance, it could be useful.</p>

<p>Northeastern Thailand</p>

<p>Isn't that the Golden Triangle? How about a gun (JUST KIDDING)</p>

<p>D in Pakistan cannot download Kindle books through the 3G. She doesn't know why but if you go the ebook route suggest she download her choices before she leaves. Otherwise I have no ideas that have not already been stated. I also gave up long ago trying to give anything but money or specifically stated items.</p>

<ol>
<li> I would give her cash to buy an unlocked I-phone when she gets to Asia. Expensive, yes, but you can put a ten dollar phone chip in it from nearly any country in Asia.</li>
</ol>

<p>She can get a 3G chip and use skype, collect email, facebook, google maps (yes, the big cities are in there.) She can put the Kindle app on it and get books. Also can take photos that are pretty darn good.</p>

<ol>
<li> If she's into photography at all, get the best low cost digital camera that you can. I get good photos of elephants in the river from my I-phone, D gets fabulous photos of the elephants and the water drops flying off their trunks.</li>
</ol>

<p>No point in buying phone cards in the U.S. They are cheap in Thailand.
She can buy a chip at the Bangkok airport, and should also ask for an international dialing card.</p>

<p>She can top up the phone chip nearly anywhere. Not sure about the international calling card. She can use the regular phone chip and dial the prefix 006, and the phone calls to the U.S. are relatively cheap.</p>

<p>This brings back memories of when dh and I were off to Germany. My in-laws gave us a post wedding reception send off party. We got at least six travel alarm clocks. Luckily we were able to trade them all in for a suitcase, but really it would have been easier to just have gotten money. (And I am truly not a fan of money.)</p>

<p>A small battery operated radio and a small torch. Believe me, if there is no electricity things like this are important. </p>

<p>A nice, functional, strong bottle to carry water wherever she is going to. </p>

<p>A small box with non-edible American 'goodies' to hand out to little children.</p>

<p>For that area, I would repeat that an LED headlamp would be useful. They are small, very bright and fit on an adjustable strap, leaving hands free.</p>

<p>If you go the iPhone route: </p>

<p>Flashlight? There's an app for that! (seriously). It has a morse code feature that does SOS automatically, although I have no idea if that means anything in Asia. And there's a strobe setting, in case of an impromptu disco party. :D</p>